Alongside the Masterfitter stand, the Excellence in Qualifications partnership were on hand to discuss qualifications with exhibition delegates and with staff on show from the 3 centres (IPS, PM Training and The Vocational College), Lee Clarke from MyTradeTV, and GQA staff and External Verifiers, discussion was plentiful and there was a real interest in Apprenticeships and experienced installer recognition coming from not only the four corners of the UK, but Australia and India too.
GQA’s Mick Clayton and TVC’s Paul Gray delivered a FENSA seminar on the recently approved Minimum Technical Competencies on each of the 3 days, with the seminar room within the GGF Group Zone being packed on each occasion. With the June 2014 deadline for compliance looming, there is a real need for the industry to understand how installers can meet the requirements and Mick, Paul and Chris Mayne of FENSA, were involved in some very lively discussions.
The organisers claimed everybody was going, and on the evidence of being there it did indeed seem that everybody had visited. So who did we meet? Everybody? No – despite being there for 4 days, it was so busy that we didn’t get round the four halls never-mind everyone that we wanted to speak to. It was great to catch up with (however briefly – and I’m not going to try to name everyone) John Ogilvie and Austin Greene (Network VEKA), Chris Mayne and the FENSA team, Giles Willson and Declan Moore of the GGF, The FiT Show’s very own Paul Godwin, Ian Miller and Paul Glover (who engaged me in a late night discussion at the Gala Dinner!), Jason Clemmit (CERTASS), Faisal Hussain and the face of DGCOS, Nick Ross, GlassNews’ Christina Shaw and Dr Steffan George of the MLA; I also got to meet a Barnsley FC legend in the form of Norman Hunter who was on UAP Tradelocks’ impressive stand.
Others to make their mark on GQA during the four days were the 8 Masterfitter finalists, with special mention to the Y.E.S. Glazing team who had shut up shop to attend the FiT Show to support their finalist pairing of Tom Miller and Paul Casbolt. It was also great to speak to a variety of Twitter friends during the show, among them Mark Warren, Nigel Grant, Andy Clegg and Double Glazing Blogger.
The Fenestration College had a great presence at the show, with their stand opposite Masterfitter, and it looked like they had had a great response over the 3 days too.
We also managed to get ourselves involved in a FiT Show exhibitor’s game of football at AFC Telford with the fellers from Haffner and Business Micros; who’s up for a FiT Tournament in 2014?
And so here we are, the day after what was, in our opinion better than the Lord Mayors show. Huge praise has to go to the organisers, Paul Godwin and Matthew Glover for not only pulling this off, but having the vision in the first place.
Not only do we want to be involved in FiT 2014 – we can’t wait for it!